One of the biggest talking points in Amarillo recently has been the spike of COVID cases. Talk of another potential lockdown, the rise in hospital cases and the jump in color level.

At first it was speculation, but now we could be looking at a hard reality.

Remember when the vaccine came out and they told us if we got the vaccine, we could take the masks off? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And while I'll say it's been nice not having to remember to have it at all times and wear it inside everywhere I go, it turns out it may have been a bit too soon.

The Delta variant of the virus has now started to make its way around the world, and it's being pointed to as the reason we're seeing a spike. Research is showing that vaccinated individuals are carrying the Delta strain, but have no idea because the vaccine is suppressing the symptoms. That is being passed on to the unvaccinated individuals and spiking the numbers. Now to be fair, they DID say you could ditch the mask if you were vaccinated and that they highly recommended you kept it on if you were unvaccinated. Not getting into that though.

So what happens here in Amarillo if we have to go back to masks everywhere? Well first off it means we aren't walking around stores without them anymore. It means there won't be an option for kids attending in person classes at school. It means daycare facilities will have to require them with their staff. But could this be just the beginning?

What are we going to do if schools shut down again and we're back to virtual learning across the board? This worked a bit better last time because a lot of companies had their employees working from home and parents were able to juggle both work and helping their child with school at the same time. Will companies put themselves back in lockdown mode at the office to accommodate? What about the rush at the grocery stores to overstock on supplies needed to live? If we end up with masks all the way around again, it could create a panic situation and we could see places like United and Market Street unable to keep up with the demand for essentials.

Texas has seemingly been on the more lenient side of things when it comes to loosening restrictions of masks and capacity restrictions at restaurants, stores, etc. so it'll be interesting to see where this goes. As of right now, nothing has changed as far as that goes. However, if the hospitals start ending up at capacity or over capacity, we could be staring it in the face again. So, dig up those masks you thought you weren't going need anymore...or maybe it's time to update them and get some new styles.

Things That Are Perfectly Legal but Feels Illegal While Doing It

In Pictures: What Education Looks Like Around the World During a Pandemic